Europe in Crisis | MatrixLeaks

Europe in Crisis

The head of Austria's opposition Freedom Party has censured the United States and the NATO for sparking the ongoing refugee crisis that has engulfed European countries.

"The USA and NATO have destroyed Iraq and Libya with their military intervention, bombs and missiles; provided financial, logistical and military support to the opposition against President [Bashar al-] Assad in Syria, and thus made possible the destruction, chaos, suffering," and Takfirism in the region, Heinz-Christian Strache wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday.

Strache also scorned what he called US President Barack Obama's suggestion that Europe should bear the main responsibility for dealing with the influx of asylum seekers hailing from conflict-stricken parts of the globe in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

"The USA for decades has started fires in the Middle East and then has … the chutzpah to claim that responsibility for the flood of refugees unleashed lies with Europe. That's geostrategic destabilization at its finest," he wrote.

           A cameraman films refugees in the Austrian town of Nickelsdorf on September 5, 2015. © AFP 

Also on Saturday, thousands of refugees streamed into Austria, hoping to continue their long journey to reach Germany after days of standoffs with Hungarian authorities in Budapest's main train station.

In the Austrian capital Vienna, large groups of asylum seekers boarded trains for Germany and arrived in Munich later in the day.

The refugees were given temporary accommodation in Munich and will be distributed to other German cities in coming days.

According to Austria's Interior Ministry, some 10,000 people were expected to reach Austria on Saturday. German police also said they expected to receive 10,000 people during the day.

In recent months, Europe has been facing a huge influx of refugees, mainly coming from war-ravaged countries like Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Most of the refugees land in Italy or Greece, and then head for the wealthier countries of northern Europe by transiting through countries in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, like Macedonia, Serbia, and Hungary.

Nearly 340,000 asylum seekers reached the borders of the European Union during the first seven months of the year, up from 123,500 during the same period in 2014, according to the bloc's border agency Frontex.

The refugee crisis has been exacerbated by the failure of European officials to take coordinated measures to help those who have fled their countries.

   Worst refugee crisis since WWII 

Europe's refugee crisis has been dubbed the worst since WWII with a record number of 107,500 asylum seekers crossing the EU's borders in July. Tens of thousands of people are fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and North Africa to start a new life in Europe, but many meet a tragic end there.

Hungary organized a corridor from Budapest to the Austrian border on Friday night, deploying over one hundred buses to clear refugee camps in the capital and pick up hundreds of asylum seekers traveling the main highway towards Vienna.

Exhausted families were happy to leave Budapest on their way to a “new life,” while the Austrian Red Cross prepared to host, feed and shelter thousands of new arrivals at their border reception center. But as hundreds were leaving for Austria, hundreds more could be seen squatting and sleeping rough at the Budapest terminal. The future of these new arrivals remains undecided.

Migrants sleep near the Keleti railway station in Budapest, Hungary, September 3, 2015. © Bernadett Szabo / Reuters

Berlin appears to have overstated its intentions earlier, as some centers in the capital prove to be struggling with the sheer number of new arrivals. Volunteers looked to be the only force to manage the situation at times.

Some politicians are speaking out against the message of hope the EU has been sending the refugees.

"We have sent very bad signals to these migrants," MEP Aymeric Chauprade of the National Front Party told RT. "We said from the beginning that we accept all these people... This is absolutely stupid, and the result is that now, we have a very huge wave of migrants. And it's a disaster for the future of Europe, regarding demography and statistics of migrants...", he added, as hundreds more were arriving to Germany through Munich.

According to a police spokesman, some 450 new arrivals could be seen in the early afternoon at the southern-German terminal, with a city train waiting to escort them to registration centers nearby, according to Reuters.

Despite the unfolding chaos, a number of European politicians continue to be in favor of a humane approach to the crisis that emphasises rights and dignity - the underlying principles Europe believes in.

“Our answer must be in line with our history and our values, in line with what Europe is about,” Europe's Economic Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said on Friday in Turkey, following Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's Thursday statements regarding the future of Christianity in Europe.

“To be European means to care about humanity and to care about human rights.

“When the world and Europe face such a drama, the answer should never be nationalistic. Never to close borders, never to renounce our values. Never,” the impassioned Moscovici added.

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